How About a Profitable Business AND a life?

Earlier this week I attended a meeting with a number of colleagues and I was struck by how we consultants say pretty much the same thing when we talk about how we help our clients. The 30 second introductions are full of sound bites like “successful growth,” “profitability,” “cash flow,” “increased value.” We all strive to be clear about our “value proposition” and how it relates to dollars.
As I was pondering this, I thought about my clients and what triggers their decision to invest the dollars and effort in my services and the change it represents. With all the talk of growth, value and profit, it’s interesting that the motivation often comes down to “I want more time” or “I want a life.”
I can relate to this personally. After years of slogging through longer and longer hours at my software company, we started down the path of change. A big part of our motivation was the desire for more time with our families. We invested significant energy and dollars making changes similar to those that I now help my clients through. These changes aren’t rocket science, they are often simple; just not easy. As a result, we did get more time with our families. Along the way we also became more profitable and we ended up selling the business for significantly more than an offer we had received just a few years before.
The balance between quality of life and the hard work of running a business is a difficult one to create and maintain. The beauty is that the same things that help owners get a life, also positively impact the financial measures mentioned above. It’s the transition between the status-quo and new behavior that is the challenge for us all….

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